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Child Custody Summer Break

Child Custody Summer Break

Working out a parenting time plan during summer is required for parents of minor children in Utah. A parenting plan includes details on how time with children is shared when school is out.

Summer parenting arrangements can be court-ordered or created between amicable parents over time. In any case, good communication is key to making good memories with children over the summer.

This year, consider these tips for staying cool when issues with a co-parent heat up: (1) Remember the children: Most children look forward all year to summer vacation. Try to keep their best interests in mind as you work with the other parent to schedule the summer. (2) Plan ahead: No parent appreciates a short-notice phone call or text concerning an event—and most parenting time plans do not permit them. As soon as you have your summer plans in mind, speak and coordinate with the other parent. (3) Family plans: If your family traditionally spent time at a summer home or particular destination, work with your ex-spouse to decide how that could be handled after divorce. Should new traditions be made, old ones honored or somewhere in between? (4) Ask your children: Even children of intact families change their minds about what they want to do from summer to summer. Before you plan to send your kids to an away camp or sign them up for another activity, ask children who are old enough for their opinions.

Enforcing Your Rights

If you have not been granted full custody of your children, the courts have likely given you a specific visitation arrangement that will enable you to see them. There are a variety of types of visitation, including weekend visitation, supervised visitation and more. If anyone attempts to interfere with your rights of visitation, there are steps you can take to assert those rights.

The most common circumstances in which you need to enforce your rights are when the custodial parent refuses to let you have your court-mandated visitation time with your children. Be sure to keep a written record of every circumstance in which the custodial parent denies you your visitation, so you can have evidence of a pattern of interference. Once you have established this pattern, you have several options:

Try mediation. See if you can work out the issues with the custodial parent through a simple discussion. Maybe you just need to tweak the schedules, or set certain ground rules. You may also work it out through professional mediation or counseling.

File a motion in the court system. You can file a motion in court to enforce your visitation rights. The court will then clarify all the details of the visitation plan, and could potentially increase your rights and decrease spousal support if you can prove a pattern of interference. In rare cases, the courts may even change who has primary custody.
Keep the child on grounds of endangerment. If you feel that your child would be placed in danger by returning home after the visit, you can violate the terms of your visitation agreement so long as you are able to defend this violation in court.

If you become frustrated by the custodial parent’s lack of cooperation in your visitation schedule, never take it out on them by stopping support payments. That can only harm your position in the long run.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506